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Technical Writing (TW)

  • Length 2 days
  • Price  NZD 1390 exc GST
Course overview
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Why study this course

The course is divided into two days, covering theory and practical aspects. You'll learn skills and techniques to create professional technical documents.

The first day is used to look at the theoretical aspects of technical writing; getting started, structure and style, and grammar. The second day is practical in nature: writing for the web, followed by short and long document techniques.

Lab exercises reinforce the concepts taught, many with useful templates to use on returning to your workplace.

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What you’ll learn

After completing this course, students will be able to:

  • Develop and use a technical brief including audience profiling, success criteria (like this), and defining the scope of a technical writing project

  • Develop and use consistent styles to formulate an identifiable brand including content development, useful consistent formatting, navigable structure, and meaningful headings

  • Identify appropriate levels of grammatical correctness suitable for the audiences of a technical document

  • Understand the differences between writing for print and writing for the web - including making website content compelling, navigable, and suitable for speed-readers, structured in ways that assist readers to locate the information they seek

  • Apply technical writing techniques to shorter documents including forms, brochures, checklists, and policy and procedure documents, to name a few

  • Apply technical writing techniques to longer documents including academic theses, course manuals and textbooks; and identify the similarities and differences between the different types of long documents presented


Lumify at Lumify Work

Lumify Work is the leading information and communications technology training provider in Australia, New Zealand, and the Philippines. In collaboration with our partners, our team designed and curated courses and masterclasses to enable people with skills in consulting, vendor management, IT Service Management (ITSM), and more.


Who is the course for?

This course will be of interest to anyone who creates, is responsible for, or interested in putting business documentation, process flows, and guidelines in writing.


Course subjects

Day 1: The Theoretical Day

Module 1: Getting Started

Getting started is often the single most difficult aspect of a writing assignment. This module provides guidance on how to get started and many of the decisions you will face as you go along.

  • Key decisions required including (perhaps most importantly) the purpose of the document.

  • Identifying the personnel who will be part of the project is important, even if the team consists of one - you!

  • Techniques and methodologies for researching and collating results are all useful especially when you are not the subject matter expert and have to rely on others within the team for information.

  • The technical brief, essentially a specifications document, and the criteria used to determine success and failure of the project.

Lab: Developing the technical brief

Module 2: Structure and Style

This module looks at the mechanics of technical writing. Most (if not all) technical writing assignments start with an outline of some sort. This module looks at outlines, how to create and use them, as well as where they are useful in the final document.

  • Abstracts are short descriptions of a technical document and every technical document must have one. How and where to use abstracts.

  • Many writers believe that content development is the hardest part of the technical writing project, but it is in fact the easiest. Techniques to apply when building content into technical documents. Paragraph and sentence structures are closely aligned to this providing some practical guidelines on content development.

  • Summaries are the opposite of abstracts - they typically go at the end. Well-written summaries are essential to long documents or technical writing that provides arguments for or against a particular topic or proposal.

  • Referencing techniques including cross-references, indexes, tables of contents, and other forms of references with guidance on where they are most appropriate.

  • Advice on formatting to enhance communication including headings and graphics.

Lab: Sub-editing a course manual

Module 3: Grammar

As a technical writer, it is your job to communicate and knowing English language rules comes with the territory. This module provides a basic refresher on English grammar and punctuation to avoid some of the more common grammatical faux pas that might affect your communication with the reader.

  • Punctuation and sentence structure. The emphasis here is to ensure your sentences are meaningful and have impact.

  • Allied to sentence structure is verb tense and verb-agreement, both of which are commonly confused. In fact, often using correct grammar just sounds wrong.

  • Concepts of active and passive voice with practical examples of when we should use passive voice.

  • Parts of speech (the building blocks of sentences) and commonly confused words, to help improve communication.

Lab: Proofreading exercise using a [fictitious] course manual

Day 2: The Practical Day

Module 4: Writing for the Web

Writing for the web is a different skill to writing for print - people read web pages differently to the way they read printed material. This module looks at the techniques to apply when writing copy for the web.

  • The content you will be writing and how it is different (yet similar) to print.

  • Making web content more user-friendly, including for those with disabilities, is likely to boost its acceptance with your readers, thus making it more successful;. Techniques to apply and guidance on usability.

  • The design of your website has synergy to printed material but its consumption is different. Guidance on its design and structure without making you an expert in HTML.

  • Consumers of website material (readers) are different from those reading printed material. The psychology of the website reader and how to structure your content, pages, and site to your advantage.

  • Guidance on making your website search-engine friendly with suggestions and tips to help boost its ranking in the results delivered for queries pertaining to your content.

Lab: Sub-editing a [fictitious] website

Module 5: Short Document Techniques

This module examines techniques specific to shorter documents with guidance on making them more compelling to consumers.

  • Forms: these short documents solicit information from users when consumed.

  • Techniques applicable to checklists including the rationale behind constructing them.

  • Related short document types: procedure documents, policy documents, fault documentation, change documentation, and specification documents.

  • Brochures and other marketing materials and the technical writing techniques that apply to them.

Lab: Building the enterprise compendium - forms, brochures, policy and procedure documents, and more

Module 6: Long Document Techniques

This module examines techniques to apply when presented with longer documents, if they differ from techniques on other document types.

  • What attributes make a document long.

  • The merits of master and sub-documents.

  • Long document types such as academic theses, textbooks, and course manuals. These long documents are representative of long document types a technical writer may encounter.


Prerequisites

None


Terms & Conditions

The supply of this course by Lumify Work is governed by the booking terms and conditions. Please read the terms and conditions carefully before enrolling in this course, as enrolment in the course is conditional on acceptance of these terms and conditions.


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